Full marathon to step off from Cape Harbour on Dec. 12
The first full marathon held in Lee County will be hosted at Cape Harbour on Sunday, Dec. 12.
Lindsey and Leonard Ulrich owners of Have A Good Run, LLC. a family owned running business, wanted to offer a full marathon to residents because they said only half marathons are typically offered in the area.
Lindsey said the business, which became family owned this year ,started off in 2007. The Mangrove Marathon is the second race they will put on this year. The first race, which was a mile, was held in October.
After the idea of having a full marathon in Lee County was presented to a friend, Lindsey said, and everyone who got on board became excited.
Glenda Swager, event coordinator for Real Mark Realty, said the Ulrichs came to them with the idea of hosting a marathon during the summer, which they are all “excited about it.”
The Mangrove Marathon holds a “special meaning” for one Fort Myers resident, Jennifer Bradbury, because almost two years ago she made a complete lifestyle change that led her to losing 137 pounds, or half of her body weight.
She explained that it is special because it is “a matter of days between the race and the date that I started with my dietician” two years ago.
With her new lifestyle came a new-found passion of running that really took off last September.
“It is so therapeutic, physically and mentally,” Bradbury said. “It makes you feel so good and it burns a lot of calories.”
She decided to register for her first organized run last November for the Veterans Day 5k after training for about a month.
She explained that after she finished the 5k she “definitely got the bug” for running and decided to register for a half marathon in Naples last January after the women at the gym told her she could do it. Bradbury did not do any specific training for the half marathon, but wanted to try it and see what type of results she would achieve.
Although it was a “really tough” 13.1 miles, she decided to begin training for another half marathon in March.
“I shaved 14 minutes off my time for that one,” Bradbury said, adding that she was much better prepared.
The idea of trying her first marathon began to seep into her thoughts after completing two half marathons, but she did not want to travel to Orlando or Fort Lauderdale to participate.
Over the summer, she began hearing rumors that a marathon was going to be held in the area. Once Bradbury found out for certain that a marathon was being held in Cape Coral, she registered and began her four months of training.
Throughout her training, she read and followed a step-by-step program of how to meet her goal of 4:45. Her longest run of 24 miles was completed two weeks ago and although it was six to 10 minutes longer than she wanted it to be, she feels ready for the big day.
When asked what she is looking forward to the most about the marathon, she replied laughing “for it to be over.”
On Dec. 12, Bradbury plans on waking up no later than 4:30 a.m., so she can eat her traditional oatmeal and banana breakfast, make sure she is hydrated and stretch before the 6:30 a.m. start of her first marathon.
The Mangrove Marathon Festival will include a full marathon for $105, half marathon for $70 and mini marathon, which is 2.62 miles for $20. Individuals can register for the event at www.active.com or on the day of the event for the same cost.
There will be a mini expo with music, along with the opportunity for individuals to pick up their packets at Cape Harbour on Friday, Dec. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. Packets also can be picked up on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“Everyone is encouraged to come out,” Lindsey said.
An awards ceremony will be held after the marathon. The overall female and male runner of the full and half marathon will receive round trip airfare tickets. Other gifts will be given away as well.
The marathon, which will start and finish at the Funky Fish House at Cape Harbour, will be a double looped course that goes through various beautiful neighborhoods in Cape Coral.
“We tried to pick places that would be eye appealing, suitable and flat,” Lindsey said, adding that they wanted to make it a fast course as well, since it is a Boston qualifier.
When asked if it will be held again next year, Lindsey replied, “almost definitely.”